Lower judiciary accused of corruption, says Chief Justice of Madras High Court

Chief Justice of Madras High Court M.Y. Eqbal, on Thursday, warned judicial officers of severe action in the face of corruption charges.

Disclosing that there were 500 petitions about corruption in the lower judiciary, he said there would be no bar on adopting “trapping” methods if judicial officers failed to clean up their act.

Speaking after administering the oath of office to 165 newly appointed civil judges, the Chief Justice said, “At present, there are about 500 petitions under the scrutiny of the High Court, as against 900 judicial officers working now. In all complaints, we are not taking drastic action of suspension or removal from service, but we will be keeping a watch on all the petitions received. If we receive petitions continuously, we will be compelled to take the drastic action of suspending the judicial officer, whether they are at the higher level in the cadre of district judge or lower level in the cadre of civil judge, junior division.”

He said judiciary was the last resort of the common man and advised new judicial officers to live up to the expectations of the people. “If anybody raises even a little finger against a judicial officer, it is better to quit rather than continue as a judicial officer,” he said.

Explaining that a vigilance unit was working under the direct control of the Chief Justice to look into complaints against judicial officers, Justice Eqbal said, “In serious matters like corruption allegations, the High Court will not compromise.”

Referring to the recent suspension of a 59-year-old district judge in Ramanatha- puram following allegations of corruption, the Chief Justice, once again, advised the new recruits to rise above any sort of corruption or favouritism. “We have received complaints against some judicial officers of the last batch too. We are carefully scrutinizing them,” he said.

The new judicial officers will undergo training for two weeks on general judicial ethics and other essentials of court management and administration at the State Judicial Academy.

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